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Recycling Children's Toys


Is it possible for children to have too many toys? I think that there probably is a case against children having as well many toys. I grew up with four younger brothers (about two years between every one of us) and our largish shared bedroom was lined on two walls with shelves from floor to ceiling with toys and each Christmas there were sacks full of even more playthings that we did not have any more space for.

I was the oldest, so you would think that I could pass my baby toys down the line once I had no use for them. That worked while my brothers were actually babies, but as their consciousness began to expand they liked to play with what I was playing with and so all the toys that I used from, say three to eight years of age were ignored by my brothers as they leap-frogged past those years and went straight to year eight and nine with me.

But we never got rid of those five years worth of overlooked toys or any other toys either. This would have been in the Fifties and Sixties and I do not believe that recycling was fairly the buzz word back then that it is today.

My parents did not throw them out, we only squirreled them away on the top shelves, which we could not reach anyway. I assume that after sitting up there for ten years they were eventually thrown away but I do not know as I had already left home by then.

The point is that those redundant toys were not doing anyone in our family any good and they were taking up space. It would have been far better to have given them away or not even to have bought some of them in the first place.

We always had to have 'one each' so that there would be less squabbling. So, we had items like five plastic trumpets, five tin xylophones, five plastic guns, five of this and five of that and we hardly ever used them after Christmas Day. We liked to play together at board games like Monopoly, Risk and cards and although I, being the oldest, won nine times out of ten, my brothers never seemed to mind.

We also had a train set, Scalectrix and a big box of Lego. We would spend all weekend creating various scenarios with combinations of the train set, a roadway and Lego houses and Lego railway platforms. OK, these three toys were probably expensive, but they were quality, versatile, could be used in combination and, in a way, were educational. These were the toys that we kept on the bottom shelves.

What I am saying is that more is not always better and in the case of toys, more can be merely a waste of money. Instead of all that junk on the top shelves, which was often donated by aunties and uncles by the way, it would have been better to get us a new bridge for the railway set or a new chicane for the Scalectrix or another box of building blocks for our Lego set.

 


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